Novak Djokovic in the first round-robin match at the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals, London
Novak Djokovic in the first round-robin match at the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals, London | (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

Tennis | US Open 2021 | Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev look to overcome semi-final obstacles in dream final bid

  • Novak Djokovic [1] v Alexander Zverev [4]
  • Daniil Medvedev [2] v Felix Auger-Aliassime [12]
NEW YORK, USA – Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev look to set up a dream final at the US Open but first they have to overcome tough US Open obstacles.


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Novak Djokovic [1] v Alexander Zverev [4] | Djokovic leads 6-3

Novak Djokovic is two wins from a calendar grand slam after a four set victory over Matteo Berrettini and next for the world number one is Olympic champion Alexander Zverev who has breezed through most of his matches in New York.


H2H & Match Fundamentals

Novak Djokovic [1] v Alexander Zverev [4]

H2H: Djokovic leads 6-3

US Open

New York, USA

Hard (O)

Prize Money: $265,000

Third on Arthur Ashe Stadium (Not before midnight BST)

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World number one Djokovic is two wins from a record-breaking 21st grand slam title and joining an exclusive club of players to win a calendar grand slam.

Despite sets dropped to Holger Rune, Kei Nishikori, Jenson Brooksby and Berrettini, the Serb has bounced back strongly and once again thrived on the grand slam stage.

However Djokovic will next play someone who he’s recently lost to and that’s the in-form  Zverev. The German has recently won the Olympic title and in Cincinnati making him one of the players to beat in New York.

Despite a mini-scare against Jack Sock, Zverev has been relatively comfortable in defeating his opponents as he looks to go one better than last year and win his first grand slam title.

Ahead of the clash with Zverev, Djokovic doesn’t want to talk about his historic bid for a calendar grand slam:

“I don’t want to think about it, I know it’s there, just focusing on the next match and let’s go step by step,” Djokovic said in his post-match press conference.

“I have had enough of answering that. I just said millions of times that, of course, I’m aware of the history, of course it gives me motivation. If I start to think about it too much, it burdens me mentally. I want to really go back to the basics and what really works for me mentally. I know his (Zverev’s) game well – we played in Tokyo. He’s one of the best players in the world, but the bigger the challenge the more glory in overcoming it.”

As for the German he is looking to use his win over Djokovic at the Olympics as motivation as he faces the biggest challenge in tennis right now:

“I feel like I was the first player to beat [Djokovic] in a very big match this year,” Zverev told reporters in his post-match press conference:

“I mean, it’s the biggest tournament in the world. It’s the Olympics. Winning there against the world number one, especially as I was down a set and a break, being kind of out of the match, then coming back, it was different than the other matches. The emotions were different. This year it seems like nobody can beat him in a big match; nobody can beat him at the Grand Slams.”

For Djokovic his game plan needs to be to continue to take the legs out of his opponents and play the long game as well as executing his return game to perfection.

As for Zverev he needs to serve well and hit his groundstrokes just as hard as he did in Tokyo if not harder to stand a chance of beating the Serb over five sets.

Unlike in Tokyo this match is best of five sets and that’s where the German has really struggled to get past Djokovic.

This match will be a lot closer than their previous encounters at grand slams but with the same result as Djokovic will edge towards that historic landmark achievement.

Prediction: Djokovic in five sets.


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Daniil Medvedev [2] v Felix Auger-Aliassime [12] | Medvedev leads 1-0

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After dropping his first set of the tournament to Botic Van De Zandschulp, Daniil Medvedev looks to continue his charge for a first grand slam title when he takes on Felix Auger-Aliassime in the US Open semi-finals.


H2H & Match Fundamentals

Daniil Medvedev [2] v Felix Auger-Aliassime [12]

H2H: Medvedev leads 1-0

US Open

New York, USA

Hard (O)

Prize Money: $265,000

Second on Arthur Ashe Stadium (Not before 20:00 BST)

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Medvedev is into the US Open semi-finals for the third consecutive year after racing through the first week and a half.

The Russian has only dropped one set and dispatched his opponents with ease as he looks to set up a dream final with Djokovic.

Standing in the way of Medvedev is Felix Auger-Aliassime who has secured big wins over Roberto Bautista Agut and Frances Tiafoe to get to this point.

After benefiting from a retirement from Carlos Alcaraz, the Canadian is now into his first grand slam semi-final.

Ahead of the clash Medvedev said he’s hoping to draw on the lessons he learnt in his semi-final defeat against Dominic Thiem last year to inspire him to a second US Open final in three years:

“Against Dominic [Thiem], if I talk about a lesson, it was more how to play him… He played a really great level and I couldn’t find a solution, which I took a lesson and tried to do better … Even if it was super tough, there was a lesson,” Medvedev said after the match:

“There’s no Dominic here, no Rafa, so I’m just going to try to play my best and see which other lessons I can take.”

As for Auger-Aliassime he has highlighted the serve as the main weapon needed to beat Medvedev:

“Of course, he [Medvedev] is going to come in with a lot of confidence,” the Canadian said after the match:

“I also need to step up and be confident in myself. I need to serve well. I need to play a great match, be solid from every aspect of my game. At the same time I need to try to put pressure on him. But it’s going to be tough. I need to be ready for his best. I need to lace my shoes really well, too, because there’s going to be a lot of running.”

Medvedev’s key area to success will be redirecting the Canadian’s shots with depth and being as aggressive as possible with the short balls.

While Auger-Aliassime will need to serve well and keep shots as short as possible in order to reach his first grand slam final.

Although the Canadian has all the weapons possible to cause Medevdev problems, the Russian’s lack of match time on court will come in handy as he aims for a first grand slam final.

Prediction: Medvedev in four sets.

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